From the moment I stepped in, I knew it would not be just another corporate grooming talk I was going to do. To me, this talk holds special meaning to me. I call it the homecoming grooming talk.
Being invited back to one’s alma mater ranks high on most people’s wish list. Similarly, it’s always been my dream to be invited back to my alma mater, the National University of Singapore (NUS). Years ago, I was an undergraduate, just like the sea of other undergraduates. Years later, I am a lifestyle coach, helping others with their fitness and grooming challenges.
How quickly time passes. But one thing will always remain – the generally still familiar surroundings (despite NUS expanding and adding new buildings) and the fond undergraduate memories. This is despite my talk being held at the University Hall which is a new building.
Besides it being a homecoming of sorts, what also excites me is the fact that the talk will be videoed. In other words, if you didn’t manage to watch me speak live, you can still watch it streamed live on the staff intranet. Cool, isn’t it? How advanced technology has come 🙂
Speaking in front of a mixed gender audience is always a challenge as it means devoting enough airtime to both the males and females, without each gender feeling bored. Targeted at the NUS staff coming from the various schools, faculties and departments, I decided against using the rostrum which was prepared and opted instead for a portable mike of sorts to be more mobile. This allowed me to interact with the audience better.
From my interactions with the staff, many felt they were torn between the two opposites of balancing practicality with style. On the one end, they want to feel comfortable as having to walk from one end of campus to the other is no small joke, considering NUS is after all built on a ridge. On the other hand, they want to look good and not be viewed as underdressed by their bosses. This was the constant issue brought up.
Having walked from one end of campus to the other, I definitely can identify with this sentiment. Wearing something comfortable would be paramount as walking on stilettos would instantly be a killer.
There has been much comment in the press about undergraduates (both varsity and polytechnic students) being grossly underdressed while on campus. They wear flip-flops and do not think twice about coming in their singlets, shorts and unkempt hair. If we cannot condone the dressing of the students, what more about the staff, right?
In the same vein, one doesn’t have to wear power suits to campus. All one needs is a shirt and pants (for the men) and shirt/blouse and pants/skirt (for the ladies). For the ladies, consider wearing kitten heels, Mary Janes or wedges (if you want the height advantage).
As I always share, dressing it right is not difficult. All it takes is a little bit of creativity and individuality. Talk to me if you need help.